5 May 1943
  • Lydia Litvyak shot down a German Bf 109 fighter while flying a Yak-1 fighter. ww2dbase [Lydia Litvyak | CPC]
  • USS Bailey entered drydock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California. ww2dbase [Bailey | DS]
  • USS Nicholas detached from escorting USS Whitney to proceed independently to rendezvous with oiler USS Patuxent. ww2dbase [Nicholas | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarines continued to attack Allied convoy ONS 5 in the North Atlantic, sinking British freighter Dolius and US freighter West Makadet during the day; German submarine U-358 was damaged during the attacks. After dark, German submarines lost contact with the convoy, sinking British freighters Selvistan and Gharinda and Norwegian freighter Bonde, but the radar-equipped Allied escorts continued to fight back, sinking U-638, U-125, and U-531. ww2dbase [Black May | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | Truk | CPC]
  • In the afternoon, USS Snook began stalking two Japanese freighters Kinko Maru (hitting with 1 of 3 torpedoes fired) and Daifuku Maru (hitting with 1 of 5 torpedoes fired) departing Dalian, China. She sank them with torpedoes after dark. ww2dbase [Snook | Dalian, Liaoning | CPC]
  • The Japanese launched an attack into the region between Wuhan and Yichang in China, aiming gain control of this section of the Yangtze River. ww2dbase [Battle of Exi | CPC]
  • The USAAF 44th Bomber Group dispatched 21 B-24 Liberator bombers from their base at Shipham, Norfolk on England's east coast to join a raid on the submarine building yards of Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, Germany. They joined a force of 125 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers from other units, making them the only B-24 Liberator bombers participating. The group earned their first Unit Citation in what would be a memorable action. German anti-aircraft fire was terrific and German fighters engaged the aircraft on both the fight to and from the target. The group claimed 32 aircraft destroyed, five probables and many damaged. The 67th Squadron lost all three of their aircraft flying as the tail end Charlies, the 68th and 506th both had an aircraft shot down whilst the Liberator piloted by Lieutenant Reed of the 66th Squadron was so severely damaged by fighters and anti-aircraft fire that he ordered the crew to bail out whilst he headed out to sea and jumped. The control tower at the Shipham base, not wanting the runways blocked, diverted one of the homeward 506th aircraft to another base due to noticing how much damage they had suffered plus the tyres being shot flat. The aircraft made it all the way to Belfast in Ireland where the pilot made a landing without any incident. The 44th was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for its conduct on this operation; this was the first such honour granted to a combat unit of the 8th Air Force. In 1991 Lieutenant Colonel Tom Holmes, then a Captain in the 68th Squadron wrote a piece about the action including a brush with an enemy fighter: "One fighter came in so close and so straight at us I couldn't see how we could avoid running into him. Occasionally the fighter pilots would be shot and come in out of control, taking one or two bombers with them. But this fighter was coming directly at us from just slightly above and a little to our left. At the very last moment it looked as if there was no way to avoid a head-on collision and I ducked my head to get set for the collision which, miraculously, never took place." ww2dbase [Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft | Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein | HM]
Hawaii Japan New Hebrides Pacific Ocean
  • USS Permit damaged a Japanese transport in the Mariana Islands, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Permit | CPC]
Russia Photo(s) dated 5 May 1943
US Army Private Arthur Ristinen and Private First Class John Weinzinger of 186th Regiment, 41st Infantry Division relaxing in front of Warisota Plantation, New Guinea, 5 May 1943USS Growler departing Brisbane, Queensland, Australia with her freshly refitted replacement bow, 5 May 1943. Note deck gun forward of the conning tower when it had been aft prior to this refit.

5 May 1943 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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